Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Almost back...............


....if you want to know what I've been up to while I've been away take a look here.

Saturday, 27 March 2010

Copy Cat



Check out this amazing Copy Cat Challenge.
Honeybunch of Roses is challenging bloggers to email a copy of a recent outfit pic and she will do her best to copy from her own wardrobe.
I sent this pic of me with the Fab Four T-Shirt and just look at how she manages to pull off the look.
Amazing isn't it?
My trip to Austria is almost at an end and I have lots to write about which I will do when I get home.
I have only just worked out how to get internet access here so apologies for not visiting all your blogs for the past week.
Normal service will be resumed soon.

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Auf Wiedersehen


I am off on my travels again.
I will be leaving shortly to head off to Austria for a week.
I will be working on a travel feature which sounds very exciting.
Sadly press trips don't come along too often but when they do they are such great fun.
The last one I had was in 2003 when I was able to take the family with me to Fortevillage in Sardinia.
Before I go I'd like to share yesterday's outfit with you.
We went to the christening of Maria Jane.
Maria's parents are Jane and Dave.
We have known Dave for a long time - he went to school with my husband, was best man at our wedding and Godfather to our eldest son.
Jane used to be a doctor at my local GP surgery which is where I first met her although our paths crossed when her children attended the same school.
And later, following her divorce, she helped my husband run the local Cub Pack.
At my 40th birthday Dave turned up with his new girlfriend - Jane.
It was such a nice surprise to see two people you really like, from different parts of your life, get together.
Jane and Dave got married last year and baby Maria Jane was born the day before my husband's birthday.
It was a lovely baptism.
The Priest, Father Seddon, was an old friend of Dave's family and his delivery was charismatic - holy mixed with stand-up comedy.
Put it this way - I don't think the couple who tried to sneak into the church five minutes after it started will ever be late for a christneing again!
If you closed your eyes you would swear you were listening to the comedian John Bishop.
During the service I also found out there was a St Jane.
Her Feast-Day is in August so I will certainly be observing that from now on.
I will do my best to report from Austria but I am such a technophobe this may not be possible.
So until then have a great week.

For the christening I wore:
Shoes - Clarks
Dress - Matalan
Belt - off a M & S Dress
Jacket - Marks and Spencer ( M&S)
Fascinator - Dorothy Perkins

Friday, 19 March 2010

Kira's Story


Thank you everybody for your thoughtful comments and responses to my dilemma.
I thought I had almost made up my mind until I met Kira.
Kira is a therapist in the beauty salon where I had a pedicure yesterday.
The treatment was a birthday gift from my mum and as I will be away next week I thought it would be a good time to treat myself to some pretty toes.
As Kira massaged my feet she asked what I was reading.
I told her it was an article about the Mitford sisters in Tatler magazine.
This led to a discussion about books.
Kira told me she loved to read.
When she went on holiday the first thing on her packing list was a pile of 3 or 4 books.
"I couldn't live without reading," she said.
I nodded in agreement.
"It's funny because at school I was rubbish at English," said Kira.
"I used to have to be taken out of the class for extra help. I was one of the special ones. The ones everyone laughed at because I couldn't read properly."
At High School she felt the same way until she met a teacher called Mrs Webb.
I know of this teacher because my children now attend the same school where Kira was once a pupil.
"Mrs Webb made me believe that I could pass my GCSE English. If I didn't understand something she would patiently explain until I did. Thanks to Mrs Webb I began to love reading. I started with the Jacqueline Wilson books. I read every one and then moved on to Harry Potter and I haven't stopped reading since. And she was right I got a C in my English GCSE."
Kira told me that she still lived at home with her parents and a love of reading was something she shared with her mum.
They spend hours talking about the books they are reading and swapping books.
I felt such joy for Kira but this joy was tinged with sadness.
My children were never taught by Mrs Webb but I knew of Mrs Webb because other parents had told me how wonderful she was.
And sadly no other child will have that privilege because Mrs Webb died suddenly last summer.
But what an amazing legacy she has left behind.
Today I wore:
Jeans - Gap
Dress - little shop in Ormskirk
Cardigan - Dorothy Perkins
Boots - Tesco
Scarf - Peacocks.

Thursday, 18 March 2010

The Road Less Travelled



We finally finished our four-month writing project at the prison.
Jenn (who used to work in the prison library but left to complete her second novel) and I have been working with the men to produce a book of personal and creative writing based on the Robert Frost poem, The Road Less Traveled or The Road Not Taken as it is also known.
The men were asked to look back in their lives and consider an event which proved to be a turning point.
They could have gone one way or another.
They were asked to write about what actually happened and then to imagine what may have taken place if they'd taken the other path.
The results were interesting.
Very interesting.
Most pieces of imaginative writing proved to be wildly different to what actually happened.
But one piece intrigued me.
He took the other path but ended up in exactly the same place anyway.
We also had a great cutting and sticking session by making collages to illustrate these writings.
I learned so much from working with Jenn.
It is amazing how life imitates art.
I too have reached the point where two roads have diverged and I fear I will have to choose just one path to take.
Remember last year I revealed I had decided to go back to university and retrain as an English teacher?
Well today I was told the prison had renewed my contract for another year's residency.
Now I don't know which path to take.

I wore:
Shoes - Clarks
Skirt and Jacket - Marks and Spencer
Top - Priimark

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

I Love My Job


I had to put the guitar (and my dreams of being a rock star) away today as I was leading a Do It Yourself PR Workshop for Train 2000.
I love these workshops and I love Train 2000.
Train 2000 is a women-only enterprise agency which helps break down the barriers into self-employment through advice, support and training.
When I was struggling with long, long days and four young children I longed to continue doing what I loved (writing) but with more control over my days.
The crunch came in July 2003 when four of my children had Sports Day on different days and there was no flexibility to let me attend those special days.
I vowed never again to let down my children but I wasn't ready to give up the job in journalism I had worked so hard for.
Enter Train 2000 who showed me another path.
My goal was to earn the same amount of money I had done as a features writer at the newspaper where I worked but at the same time control my own hours.
Not only have I been able to do just that but the variety of work I have had since I went freelance in November 2003 has been a revelation.
One of the strengths of Train 2000 was to show me that I had many more skills than I was aware of.
Not only was I a journalist I had almost 20 years experience of how the media works which, they told me, would be invaluable for businesses who wanted to raise their media profile.
Train 2000 offered me their PR contract and asked me to write a course to help small businesses do their own PR.
That was four years ago and the rest is history.
But one of the best bits about leading the course is that I get to meet a great group of women.
Today was no exception.
I love my job.
I have a wardrobe of cardigans but my favourites at the moment are long cardigans just like these.
I wore:
Boots - Clarks
Dress - Next
Cardigan - Tesco

Monday, 15 March 2010

Rock Chic Parts One - Five






I found this great t-shirt of the Fab Four on sale for £3 in Liverpool.
I knew it would be perfect with my new skirt and boots and one more accessory!

I wore:
Boots - Clarks (marked down from £99.00 to £29.00!)
Skirt and Jacket - Marks and Spencer
T-shirt - a cheap shop!

Saturday, 13 March 2010

The Spring Capsule Wardrobe 2010 Winner is........


Well I promised so here it is - the Spring Capsule Wardrobe Challenge Round-Up.
I have gone through every SCWC post to summarise how each blogger tackled the challenge.
1. Sadly Meli had to drop out of the challenge due to family illness but she has promised to tackle the challenge later in the month.
2. Franca tackled the challenge with her trademark colour and quirky professional chic.
3. Wearabouts Town came up with an amazing 22 outfits form the capsule taking creativity to another level. Check out her dress converte dinto an infinity scarf.
4. Lorena started by the challenge by utiling colour and then converting a dress into a skirt to add variety to her workwear wardrobe that also had to offer casual chic.
5. The reigning Capsule Champion Kate made use of her extensive deisgner wardrobe and mixed and matched with High Street buys to create a stylish capsule that would not be out of plac eon a glossy spread.
6. Too Much Information stretched her cpasule to 8 outfits and still managed to maintain the integrity of her usual style and keep warm at the same time.
7. The ethereal Julia from Song Of The Exile showed off her fantastic wardrobe to the max with her capsule which emphasised the luxe of the silky fabric and a fabulous capelet.
8. The fabulous Kimberley of Fab Finds found the limits on the wardrobe a little too limiting but still put totgether some stunning outfits from the capsule plus one.
9. Honeybunch of Roses provided a varied wardrobe form her capsule and still maintained a stylish chic look.
10. Bluerose wore the capsule for seven days and still didn't wear all of the combinations.
11. It was the third CWC for Kasmira who as usual dazzled with her creativity and the spring shades of lemon and pink provided a welcome reminder of spring.
12. It was also a thid CWC for Sheila who funked up the workwear wardrobe with her distinctive style. A vote on her blog revealed the Zipper Chic outfit a winner.
13. Cara's capsule revealed a range of outfits that was so different I had to count to check she hadn't cheated. And she hadn't!
14. Biba managed 7 colourful days and brought us all out of the winter doldrums.
15. From Sneakers to Stilletos mixed some strong hues of blue and green with neutrals to create a smart but stylish ensemble.
16. Totally Inspired has us all totally inspired with a great selection and fantastic jacket/cardigan.
17. Tanya has such a fabulous figure she could have looked great in a bin bag but her capsule was anything but. A fantastic plaid shirt and flirty floral dress were my favourites.
18. MyEdit made full use of some great accessories to create a comprehensive capsule of outfits for every occasion.
19 Rate My Outfit created a capsule form my favourite black, red and white and still only wore 9 items.
20. Fashionably Free To Be Me added the colour purple to rock neutrals of black and white.
21. Kari was another maestro colour mixer. She took some neutrals and added red and purple to create a versatile wardrobe.
22. Lina admitted she was a little scared when the challenge was over as she had made such a good job of her restricted wardrobe she was overwhelmed by the choice now on offer. Lina made full use of the accessories on offer with some creative mixing of scarves.
23. Bella made great use of a signature style using belts, scarves and sunglasses to create a seamless capsule.
24. BBM showed off some fabulous floral outfits mixed with some amazing scenery, Both her outfits and the backdroip proved spring is on the way. Yay!
25. Emma created a varied workweek wardrobe and her colleagues had no idea that her wardrobe was restricted until she told them.
26. Wearing My Threads was able to slip from a casual laid back look to smart and workwear chic with effortless ease.
27. I loved the way Chic On The Cheap combined the colour with pretty hose to gain a dramatic yet dressed down look.
28 Materfamilias combined classic style with a nod to the latest trends.
29. Preppy With A Twist combined florals, striped and colour to create an ednless combination of unique looks.
30. How I loved Madam Owl's combo. It wa slaid back and colourful some days and other all belted up to create a smart stylish look.
31. It was wonderful to see Stephanie back. I love the way even her most relaxed outfits have a dramatic twist.Don't stay away so long again Stephanie. We missed you.
32. I loved the way Legacy of Pearl used the accessories to full effect, especially that red scarf as a belt. And as if one challenge wans't enough she stepped striaght into a five day scarf challenge right afterwards.
33. Maria created a great capsule from her lovely pink/purple dress which looked different every time.
34. I loved Vani's tailored capsule but I'm not sure if she counted the pooch as one of her accessories.
35. Eva Nadine chose a striking blue dress as the basis for her caspule and mixed it beautifully.
36. 37. Law School Fashionista showed a winning way with the LBD and jeans.
38. Dawn mixed colours, dresses, jeans and cardigans to create a classy spring capsule perfect for her very busy lifestyle.
39.Get well soon Nina. Nina delayed the final outfit due to flu but it was well worth it. Love the polka dot dress and the way you wore it.
40. Muted neutrals and bright spring prints converted Getting Fine 09's creative capsule.
41.Me!
And the winners are:
The Spring Capsule Challenge Award goes to:
My Edit.
I chose My Edit because of the variety of outfits, the clever use of accessories and the striking style statement made with each outfit.
The random spot prize goes to:
Sheila.
Can the winners please email me - workthatwardrobe@gmail.com with your address and I will post the prizes.
Congratulations to everyone who took part.
I learned something new from each and every one of you.
The next challenge will be the first week of June.
I hope you will all join me then.

Final 14 Outfit Spread

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Spring Capsule Wardrobe Challenge Day 11



Another slightly different version from day 9 with the wrap.
If I haven't left any comments on your blogs it is because I have been very busy writing the round-up which I will publish on Saturday.
I have also been very busy with work and yesterday was the final day of my project at a group of schools in Liverpool.
Today I am working in the prison on some Haikus and the magazine and tomorrow I will be working at a young homeless centre.
I have also been catching up with some commissions including this piece which was published in The Liverpool Echo.
I am so glad I have my capsule this week it makes dressing so much easier.
Today I wore:
Boots - Clarks
Skirt - Marks and Spencer
Top - Asos
Wrap - Joe Brown
Pendant - Cambrils Market, Spain.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Spring Capsule Wardrobe Challenge Day Ten


I am not feeling down - even though I may look it.
Actually, I am very happy.
1. It is spring.
2. I don't have to worry about what to wear as it is planned out for the next few days.
3. Today is the ifnal day of a three month project at a local primary school helping them create a magazine.
4. I can tighten my belt one extra notch - so the diet must be working.
5. In less than two weeks I will be in Austria working on a travel feature.
Thank you so much to everyone who reminded me of blogs that I had not included.
I think everyone is there now and we have the grand total of 40.
But back to my original question.
Why am I looking down?
The answer is that yesterday when I was getting Joe's birthday cake out of the fridge I tripped and fell straight into the corner of the fridge door.
Obviously I didn't want to drop the cake so my cheek got it.
I now have a very angry red and purple bruise which just doesn't go with my colour scheme.
Don't worry I will be looking up soon!
Today I wore:
Boots - Tesco
Dress - New Look
Scarf - Peacocks
Belt - Primark
Slip showing

Calling All Capsule Wardrobe Challengers

I think I have everyone here but before I continue working on the Capsule Wardrobe Round-Up can you please check you are on the list below.
If I have missed anyone out I do apologise but to make sure I include you in the final post either drop a line in the comments box or email me at workthatwardrobe@gmail.com
I know a couple of you didn't quite finish the challenge but I am still including everyone who signed up.
So far I have:
1. Meli
2. Oranges and Apples
3. Wearaboutstown
4. Lorena
5. Make Do Style
6. Too Much Information
7. Julia
8. Kimberly
9. Honeybunch of Roses
10. Bluerose
11. Kasmira
12. Sheila
13. Cara
14. Biba
15. From Sneakers To Stillttos
16. Totally Inspired
17. Tanya
18. My Edit
19. Rate My Outfit
20. Fashionably Free To Be Me
21. Kari
22. Lina
23. Bella
24. BBM
25. Emma
26. Wearing My Threads
27. Chic on The Cheap
28. Materfamilias
29. Preppy With A Twist
30. Madam Owl
31. Circle of Clothes
32. Legacy Of Pearl
33. Renee
34. Maria
35. Vani
36. EvaNadine
37. Law School Fashionista
38. Dawn
39. Nina
40. Laniza

Spring Capsule Wardrobe Challenge Day Nine


Just to reassure everyone - I have been doing some laundry during this challenge.
Today it is back to the striped top and denim skirt.
It will be a busy day running around on errands and picking up a hire car as my car is still very sick.
I have added one more item for the photograph below - this lovely pink bag.
But I am not counting it as an extra item as it's not for me.
I have bought it as a gift.
Isn't it lovely?
Remember yesterday when I said I was off to report on an event for International Women's Day?
It was there I met a wonderfully warm woman called Kiki.
I arrived late and Kiki got me a spare chair, some cake and tea and made me feel very welcome.
I admired the beautiful handmade bag she was carrying.
Kiki who hails from Germany told me that since arriving in the UK she has converted her love "of making pretty things" into a business called Aliki Bags.
I cannot begin to tell you how beautifully made these bags are.
As soon as I got home I went onto her website and bought this pink one for a very special lady.
Here's a selection of pictures which still don't do the bag justice.



Today I wore:
Boots - Clarks
Skirt - Marks and Spencer
Top - Asos
Heart Pendant - Spanish Market

Monday, 8 March 2010

Spring Capsule Wardrobe Challenge Day Eight


I have vowed to go on until I have exhausted the possibilities of my capsule and I think there are at least another three outfits to come.
I spent the weekend checking out everyone's fabulous collections and I am in the process of writing a round-up feature for this weekend.
I will also be naming the two prize winners.
I will choose the one challenger who has inspired me the most.
And a second random selection from all who took part.
Finally, thank you so much to everyone who took part - it was so much bigger than last time with almost 40 people participating.
And before I sign off today to attend an event for International Women's Day I would like to announce an even more important event taking place today - my son Joe will be 15.
I haven't posted a photo of Joe to share as he is a little shy.
Joe was born as he continues to live his life - in the fast lane.
One Wednesday evening after reading a bedtime story to my then three-year-old I went into labour during Coronation Street (7.30pm) and by the 9 O'Clock News Joe was enjoying his first feed.
Joe is a talented footballer and once had trials for Liverpool FC.
He is also very clever (taking three GCSE's a year early this year) and a complete chocoholic.
This weekend I helped my youngest son Ben (who wants to be a chef) create a huge chocolate cake as a birthday surprise.
Happy Birthday Joe!


I wore:
Boots - Tesco
Dress - FCUK
Necklace - Top Shop
Slip showing underneath

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Spring Capsule Wardrobe Challenge Day Seven



A mad busy weekend.
Just time to share with you today's outfit.

I wore:
Boots - Tesco
Jeans - Gap
Cardigan - Tesco
Top - Asos
Scarf - Peacocks
Belt - Primark

Friday, 5 March 2010

Spring Capsule Wardrobe Challenge Day Six


I have just finished catching up with the blogs, Flickr sets and photos I have been sent and I am overwhelmed by the creativity and variety displayed by everyone who has taken part in The Spring Capsule Wardrobe Challenge.
I will spend the next week carefully editing the collections and posting a bumper report on the challenge including a list of everyone who took part.
And like last time I will be selecting a winner with a small prize.
Look out for the post next Saturday.
This weekend I plan to go on a six mile run, watch three of my children play football and go out for a belated birthday drinks with my two friends Joy and Denise (who both celebrated their birthday on Monday) and our husbands.
I am also hoping to take my youngest son to see Alice In Wonderland.
Have a wonderful weekend.

Today I wore:
Boots - Clarks
Jeans - Gap
Blouse - Boden
Cardigan - Tesco
Belt - Primark
Necklace - Top Shop

Spring Capsule Wardrobe Challenge Day Five


The finish line is in sight.
But like Forest Gump I am going to carry on and on and on.
I think there are four or five more combinations I'd like to try before I give up the challenge.
For those who have finished the Five Day Challenge - CONGRATULATIONS!
I have been following the posts with interest and am looking forward to compiling the round-up next weekend.
For those of you who are joining me on the extended challenge I look forward to sharing the ride with you.
I had planned to wear this FCUK dress with tights and ankle boots but my car (DON'T BUY A RENAULT SCENIC!!!!) is still in the garage and I am back on my bike today.
I am just off to wash my Boden blouse for a few more wears.
Have fun this weekend.

Today I wore:
Clarks Boots
Gap Jeans
FCUK Dress
Tesco Cardigan
Primark Belt
Top Shop Necklace

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Spring Capsule Wardrobe Challenge Day Four


This outfit brings out by inner ballerina.
I have spoken before about the heartache of missing out on ballet lessons so the yearning lies deep.
I can almost smell the dust, see the cracked panes of glass and feel the uneven wooden floor of the church hall/ballet school where I never got to be.
Ah well!
I got an interesting response to my suggestion yesterday that I make the challenge harder next time.
Many of you hardcore challengers have suggested stretching the challenge a whole week.
So who is up for the extra few days?

Spring Capsule Wardrobe Challenge Day Three


I didn't intend to wear this ensemble today.
I was planning to wear the skirt with the striped top and black cardigan but when I saw this article in The Tmes this morning I decided to go for the belted shirt over the skirt.
I have been looking at my capsule and can see at least 14 possible outfits so may well continue beyond Friday.
I have been loving catching up with how everyone is responding to the challenge and amazed by the creativity, the colour and the sheer variety of outfits.
Maybe I made it too easy.
Maybe next tiime it will be 8 items and 2 accessories.
What do you think?
Today I wore:
Boots - tesco
Skirt - Marks and Spencer
Blouse - Boden
Necklace - Top Shop
Belt - Primark

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Spring Capsule Wardrobe Challenge Day Two


I am so full of the joys of spring today.
It is now light enough to go for a run with my dog in the morning at 7am which means I have enough time to get ready for work.
It was my friend Denise's birthday today and I had a rare daytime coffee with her.
I cycled everywhere on my bike with a basket (the car is still in the garage).
I was feeling so energetic I went for a second run with the dog at lunchtime.
And best of all - the sun is shing.
And even better there is no wind and when you stand still in the right place you can feel the warmth of the rays of the sun.
For the first time this year.
Oh Happy Day.
I have some special events lined up and am looking forward to getting out the evenning wear.
I may well invest in a new dress from this great selection.
I wore:
Clarks Boots
Dress - New Look
Blouse - Boden
Heart Pendant (B)

Monday, 1 March 2010

Spring Capsule Wardrobe Challenge Day One



And we're off.
Day One and my working day has been spent partly on a bike (the car has broken down again) and the rest of the time at the computer working from home.
I decided to wear the wrap cardigan in a more dramatic draped style but when I got cold I just wrapped myself up in it.
The good news is I've booked our summer holiday.
We are off to Spain again but we will be staying at a new campsite with the family we have holidayed with for the past three years.

I wore:
Clarks Boots (just out of the photo)
Gap Jeans
Asos Top
Joe Brown's Wrap
Top Shop Necklace (A)